Monday, August 29, 2011

Garden Goodness

The first three carrots.  They are earlier than the rest of the crop.  They were just screaming at me to be pulled out!  Next year we must plant the seeds earlier (and more). 

The rest of the garden?  Well, the tomatoes have been delicious and there are still plenty more to go.  We lost a few in the heavy rain and wind over the weekend but there are still plenty.  The cucumbers continue and continue and continue to produce.  We haven't been too successful with our pumpkins.  I'm blaming it on the fact that they are suppose to be some hybrid huge things.  Next year we stick to the boring, even-an-idiot-can-grow-these type.  We have 3 cantaloupes.  One is large enough that it may mature before cold weather!  No broccoli.   If we try for it next year we'll have to be sure to start it earlier and plant it where it will get a lot more sunshine.

All in all, it's been great watching the plants growing from seeds to producing yummy veggies.  "R' has been a super gardener!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Morning of Irene

And Mango is not impressed.

Although the storm is still not its closest............. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Calm Before the Storm

As Hurricane Irene moves up the east coast you can see that Mango is quite concerned.
Nothing like a long nap for storm preparedness.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Before the Storm

Generally speaking I've found that a few days before a major storm there is some rather lovely weather.  True this week and we took advantage of it.  Yes, I suppose that the good weather is given as opportunity to do the preparedness thing for the bad weather to follow...we've done a bit of that...but we took the day off on Wednesday to travel to 'the other Cape'.

The four of us loaded ourselves and some cut flowers into the car at 9 a.m. and headed for my dad's grave at the National Cemetery in Bourne.  As expected it was beautiful weather, not expected was the miserable traffic.  'R' makes fun of my complaints about highway traffic around here (I know, I know, it's not like real traffic in CA). Anyway, mid-week-after-morning-rush-hour and it should have been better on the roads.

This trip we would not be staying overnight at my cousin's house.  They already had company from out of state.  So.....the BIG drive there and back and a tour around all in one day trying to get home before too much night driving yet after Boston rush hour......phew.

We arrived at the cemetery before noon and found that they were doing some renovation work just where we needed to get by.  A slight detour brought us back on track with the first stop at my aunt and uncle's grave.  Then back to dad's.  'A' was surprised to find that her penny was still on his stone (well, slightly off the edge) from when she placed it there last year!  She put it back at top center and added another.  I guess it's 'a penny for your thoughts' kind of thing.

After the cemetery we headed along Rte. 6  west and stopped for lunch with my cousin 'D'.  Then on to cousin 'P's house for a quick visit with her and her family (those out-of-state guests).  By this time it was getting to be mid afternoon and we still had more traveling and stops to make.  Onward to New Bedford where we toured around the south end where my mom grew up and where we made another cemetery stop.  Rural cemetery is where another uncle and my grandparents are buried.  More flowers to deliver graveside and then off again!

Our next stop was to waste some time!  Yep, even though it seemed we had been traveling foreverrrrrrrr, it was too early to finish and head home.  It was only 4:15 p.m. and I didn't want to be on the road north until 5:30ish.  Had to miss that late afternoon traffic around Boston and Boston was only an hour away.  So we stopped at the Friendly's in Dartmouth for a drink  (lousy service!) before heading further west on Rte. 6 to check out the remains of Lincoln Park.
One of the spots where we could see through the fence (The Comet in the background)

Lincoln Park was a local amusement park from 1894 to 1987.  You can read a brief history here.  If you search for "Lincoln Park, Dartmouth MA" you'll find a lot more.  Our family spent many happy days at this amusement park from the 1940's through the 1970's and over more recent years have watched as the park closed, fires consumed familiar buildings and vandals left their marks.  We were curious as to how much would remain.  The answer?  Not  much at all except for a portion of the roller coaster.  The Comet, which lost it's BIG hill to collapse under the weight of snow in 2005 (I think).  When the park closed, all the rides were auctioned off.  The carousel was preserved and moved to Battleship Cove Park in Fall River. MA.  Neglect and fires destroyed what remained of the park's ballroom, rollerskating building, concessions, funhouse and arcades.  As much as the desire exists to discover old, hidden treasures within the off-limits grounds, they are just not there.
All that is left of a spot that brought so much joy.

So after a bit of peering through the chainlink fence for photo taking, we drove back east a mile or so to take a look at the house my grandfather built in the 1920's.  Then on to the highway and home, stopping only to get dinner at our local Friendly's.  It was still daylight when we arrived there but dark by the time we left for the final few miles to our door.

Friday, August 05, 2011


I rarely write about food.  I don't get very enthused about the subject.  Honestly, I think of it somewhat as a waste of money...just flushed down the...well, kinda literally.  You could eliminate the middle man and just send those bills on their way.

Oh well.

This week has been a good week for food finds.  First we visited a British import store while walking around Newburyport the other day and I found Lyle's Golden Syrup!  It's been a few years since I've been able to locate this favorite.  My grandfather got me hooked on the sweet syrup when I was very young.  Having found a new supplier, I bought two cans leaving one on the shelf for someone equally as fortunate to find it.

The other food doings became finding a recipe for sweet and sour cucumbers.  I remember Rosa making them.  I worked for Rosa and her husband, Aage, many years ago.  Aage was a Danish Masterbaker (Yummmmmmmmmmmy stuff).  Rosa used to make a hot lunch for me every day that I was there.  I particularly enjoyed her Danish meatballs with sweet and sour cucumbers.  Anyway, we've got a lot of cucumbers growing in our veggie garden and it has become obvious that we need to find a variety of menu options for them.  Today was my first attempt at the recipe below.  I just tried them...a bit too sharp.  Maybe I should switch to a different vinegar type?  Or try more sugar?

Sweet and Sour Cucumber
300ml white vinegar
75g caster sugar
1 cucumber sliced paper thin (I used two of our small bush cucumbers)
Combine the sugar and vinegar in a saucepan and heat, gently stirring the mixture to make sure all the sugar dissolves.  Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Cool, then add cucumber and let sit for at least 1/2 hour.  Drain for serving and serve chilled.

Monday, August 01, 2011


just a little bit.
Sunday morning calm in the North Basin

Currently...'R' and I finally finished up ALL the keywork that had backed up over a couple of weeks time.  Nothing like having a month's worth of work appear within one week!  Then....a repair job came around on a pipe organ that 'R' accepted.  That took some time.  I really enjoyed helping him with it and learning about and exploring some unfamiliar workings.

I also found out that the walls of 'my' church looked quite different in the early 1900s.  Take a look past the organ guts at the back wall and you'll see the odd blue/green with gold stenciling atop a border of burgundy and gold.  Unseen in this photo and below the border is a rather cream colored paint.  The two walls in the corner that are hidden by the organ are like this, so I'm assuming that the rest of the sanctuary sported this unusual decor!
Check out that back wall (click to enlarge)!

So right now there are two sets of keys in the shop.  One for new keytops and fronts, the other for some ivory restoration work.  I've started taking apart the 1865 melodeon as well.  Time to get on with it's restoration.